Inequities

Side-By-Side Kansas Counties Are Worlds Apart When It Comes To Health

Mar 21, 2016

At her home studio in Westwood, Kansas, yoga instructor Marilyn Pace leads a class of 5-to-8-year olds. With the help of songs, games and other kid-friendly teaching methods, she guides her small students through poses like the cobra, the triangle and the downward-facing dog.

Tatjana Alvegard takes her daughter, Kaya, to Pace’s classes regularly.

Downtown Waco, Texas, looking north.
city-data.com

A new initiative is working to create a data dashboard that almost any city could use to get a handle on the health of its citizens. City-level health data can be critical when it comes to measures like reducing smoking or deciding where to build new parks and health clinics. Yet most health data is collected at the county, not the city level. That means city leaders looking to improve residents’ health lack a baseline of information to work from.

Quest For Blood Pressure Cuff Highlights Inequality

Feb 17, 2016

The doctor told Sharlene Adams to get a blood pressure cuff, so Adams set out to buy one.

For Adams, who lives in West Baltimore, that meant four bus rides, a stop for a doctor’s signature, two visits to a downtown pharmacy for other medical supplies, a detour to borrow money for a copay, a delay when a bus broke down, and, at last, a purchase at a pharmacy on the east side of town.

Genetics researchers often discover certain snips and pieces of the human genome that are important for health and development, such as the genetic mutations that cause cystic fibrosis or sickle cell anemia. And scientists noticed that genetic variants are more common in some races, which makes it seem like race is important in genetics research.

The data on childhood lead poisoning in the U.S. is alarming. Nine counties report even higher levels than Flint, according to an article on Vox.com. Also alarming: more than half of states don't even report.

liquor bottles
GREYERBABY via Pixabay

When Kelli was growing up in the 1970s in suburban Johnson County, Kansas, southwest of Kansas City, it was a quiet, clean community boasting single-family homes and good schools. And with state laws prohibiting alcohol sales on Sundays, in grocery stores and by the glass, outsiders could have been forgiven if they found life there to be pretty straight-laced.

“You just never know what goes on behind closed doors,” says Kelli, who asked that her last name not be used.

Worlds Apart: Vast Disparities In Treatment Separate Americans With HIV

Jan 4, 2016

A major insurer said recently it would offer life insurance to HIV-positive people because of their rising life expectancies, prompting cheers from AIDS activists. But on the very same day,  the nation’s top disease control official described an America falling far short in its fight against AIDS.

Environmental Factors Play Heavily into Cancer Risks, Study Says

Dec 30, 2015
Exposure to ultraviolet rays, as in a tanning bed, is one well-known extrinsic factor that can lead to cancer. But there may be many factors scientists don't yet know about.
Evil Erin via Flickr

Researchers say environmental exposures and behavior weigh heavily on the development of 70 to 90 percent of cancers.

The research, by a group at Stony Brook University in New York, shows only 10 to 30 percent of cancers are attributed to random cell mutations.

Clinical Trials Still Don't Reflect The Diversity Of America

Dec 16, 2015

About 40 percent of Americans belong to a racial or ethnic minority, but the people who participate in clinical trials tend to be more homogeneous. Clinical trials are the studies that test whether drugs work, and inform doctors' decisions about how to treat their patients. When subjects in those studies don't look like the patients who could end up taking the treatments, that can be problematic. In short: Clinical trials are too white.

When Mae Lynn Reyes-Rodríguez was a graduate student in psychology at the University of Puerto Rico in the early 1990s, she learned there were no studies of how many Latinos suffered from anorexia, bulimia or binge eating disorder.

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